“So tell me what you want, what you really, really want.” OK, bad 90’s pop music reference, but it describes the problem executives and managers are having with the multi-generational workplace when it comes to employee engagement and recognition. Plateau reward programs no longer speak to most employees in the workplace due to the lack of flexibility. Which brings us to everyone’s favorite subject — millennials. They’ve been treated like a science experiment in nearly every industry’s research. What do they like? Are they going to stay at one company forever? (OK, no.) How do we get through to them? Are they really that different? (Well, yes.)
The Boost Engagement team is made up of multiple generations and so we decided to take a quick, informal poll of the #1 way they want to be rewarded in the workplace, and the responses were all over the board (see chart to the right). Some millennials voted to choose their own rewards for hard work and service, while some of the team in the same age range wanted a less traditional (but becoming more popular) award like additional PTO. Interestingly enough, none of the folks in the 35-50 age range opted for PTO; the majority voted to choose their own rewards.
Now, in which ways or scenarios do the different generations want to be recognized? We had an even split; either employees want to be publicly recognized, or they didn’t have a preference between public and private recognition. None of the genders or different generations preferred private recognition only.
Satisfying the needs and wants of multiple generations in the workplace has become a very real issue for companies of any size. A quick Google search suggests up to 4 million employees are retiring every year. Start planning a flexible rewards strategy for 2020 now with engagement and recognition tools that can help recognize multiple generations from new hires to retirees all in one platform. Still not sure what they “really, really want”? Easy. Ask them! Use Google Forms or anonymous tools like TinyPulse to compile feedback. Whatever you do, don’t stop there. Help develop a plan to implement your team’s needs and wants.
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